Spatial and Temporal Lingual Coarticulation and Motor Control in Preadolescents PurposeIn this study, the authors compared coarticulation and lingual kinematics in preadolescents and adults in order to establish whether preadolescents had a greater degree of random variability in tongue posture and whether their patterns of lingual coarticulation differed from those of adults.MethodHigh-speed ultrasound tongue contour data synchronized with the acoustic ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2014
Spatial and Temporal Lingual Coarticulation and Motor Control in Preadolescents
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Natalia Zharkova
    Queen Margaret University, Musselburgh, United Kingdom
  • Nigel Hewlett
    Queen Margaret University, Musselburgh, United Kingdom
  • William J. Hardcastle
    Queen Margaret University, Musselburgh, United Kingdom
  • Robin J. Lickley
    Queen Margaret University, Musselburgh, United Kingdom
  • Disclosure:The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure:The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Natalia Zharkova: nzharkova@qmu.ac.uk
  • Editor: Jody Kreiman
    Editor: Jody Kreiman×
  • Associate Editor: Ben A. M. Maassen
    Associate Editor: Ben A. M. Maassen×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech
Research Article   |   April 01, 2014
Spatial and Temporal Lingual Coarticulation and Motor Control in Preadolescents
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2014, Vol. 57, 374-388. doi:10.1044/2014_JSLHR-S-11-0350
History: Received December 22, 2011 , Revised May 23, 2012 , Accepted July 16, 2013
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2014, Vol. 57, 374-388. doi:10.1044/2014_JSLHR-S-11-0350
History: Received December 22, 2011; Revised May 23, 2012; Accepted July 16, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

PurposeIn this study, the authors compared coarticulation and lingual kinematics in preadolescents and adults in order to establish whether preadolescents had a greater degree of random variability in tongue posture and whether their patterns of lingual coarticulation differed from those of adults.

MethodHigh-speed ultrasound tongue contour data synchronized with the acoustic signal were recorded from 15 children (ages 10–12 years) and 15 adults. Tongue shape contours were analyzed at 9 normalized time points during the fricative phase of schwa-fricative-/a/ and schwa-fricative-/i/ sequences with the consonants /s/ and /ʃ/.

ResultsThere was no significant age-related difference in random variability. Where a significant vowel effect occurred, the amount of coarticulation was similar in the 2 groups. However, the onset of the coarticulatory effect on preadolescent /ʃ/ was significantly later than on preadolescent /s/, and also later than on adult /s/ and /ʃ/.

ConclusionsPreadolescents have adult-like precision of tongue control and adult-like anticipatory lingual coarticulation with respect to spatial characteristics of tongue posture. However, there remains some immaturity in the motor programming of certain complex tongue movements.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council Research Grants RES-000-22-4075 and ES/K002597/1. We thank Robert Rush for advice on statistical analysis and Alan Wrench and Stephen Cowen for technical advice and assistance with instrumentation.
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